Two weeks ago, an American friend posted an appeal saying there was urgent need for volunteers in Medyka, a small village on the Polish border with Ukraine. A few days later, my husband Colin and I were on a plane to Poland. I had decided that I was not going to have expectations. I was going into the unknown. I don’t really know much about the history, politics or culture of the region. I don’t know anything about war beyond what I’ve seen in the media. I have never done relief work. But if someone thought I could be helpful, I really wanted to help.
The following 11 days were an enlightening experience, more regarding the functionings of relief agencies than anything else. By the time we arrived at the camp in Medyka, the movement of refugees out of Ukraine through Poland had slowed. By the time we left 11 days later, there appeared to be more Ukrainians returning home through that specific border (there are others) than there were leaving it.